The Orlando Magic conclude a three-game homestand tonight against the Toronto Raptors, against whom they'll implement their new, "stabilized" rotation. Toronto's picked up but one win this year, due mostly to its woeful defense, which inspired this hilarious and insightful post at Raptors Republic and a memorable rant from J.E. Skeets, a Raptors season ticketholder, in this episode of The Basketball Jones.
This Raptors team is far removed from the one Orlando faced in the first round of the 2008 playoffs. Sure, Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon are still around, but that's it. The starting lineup is filled with career role-players who, while talented to varying degrees, can't carry a franchise on their own. I do think the Magic's second unit could reasonably challenge the Raptors' top unit of Jarrett Jack, DeMar DeRozan, Linas Kleiza, rebounding specialist extraordinaire Reggie Evans, and Bargnani, let's say it that way.
But Bargnani can score, Evans can rebound, and Sonny Weems has proven he can create for himself off the dribble. On the whole, Toronto is merely an average offensive team, but it boasts potentially explosive players. The Magic should look to involve Dwight Howard in the offense early, drive the ball whenever possible to exploit the Raptors' lack of shot-blocking, and bury Toronto early so as to rest up for the trip to New Jersey later tonight.
|2010/2011 NBA Season|
|1-7 (0-4 road) |
|5-2 (4-1 home) |
|November 12th, 2010|
|Jarrett Jack||PG||Jameer Nelson|
|DeMar DeRozan||SG||Vince Carter|
|Sonny Weems||SF||Quentin Richardson|
|Reggie Evans||PF||Rashard Lewis|
|Andrea Bargnani||C||Dwight Howard|
|2010/11 Advanced Stats|
|94.2 (16th)||Pace||92.9 (18th)|
|105.5 (17th)||ORtg||106.5 (T-14th)|
|110.2 (27th)||DRtg||97.8 (1st)|